Wandering Eye: The many sides of parking in Hampden, the NFL's empty domestic violence response, and more

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held famous hearings about what sexed-up rockers like Prince and Judas Priest had been putting out—so-called "porn rock"—and Washingtonian has commemorated this anniversary with Andrew Beaujon's recap of "5 Excellent Moments From the Senate's 1985 Rock-Lyrics Hearing." I remember the hearings mostly because of Frank Zappa's rhetorically whip-smart appearance ("Bad facts made bad law," he stated, "and people who write bad laws are in my opinion more dangerous than songwriters who celebrate sexuality"), but the archived video clips Beaujon has chosen include a reminder that Congress made the Mentors' urinary lyrics part of its permanent record. (Van Smith)


You down with RPP?! Hampden Residential Permit Parking! It's The End of The World! Or it is, at least, to some folks in Hampden who, led in part by George Peters, have aimed low and hard at stopping this abomination. Peters put up a petition online and led the charge to City Hall last night to try to make the council see reason. Some small bit of reason was seen: The original proposal would have limited non-permit holders to just one hour of parking per day in the restricted area. The council amended that to the more typical two hours last night before narrowly passing the bill to third reader for final passage next Monday. If all this is ultra-confusing to you, and you wonder why the white people of Baltimore are always so wound up about parking, have a look at Benn Ray's blog post from half a year ago on the controversy. It's got some history, it's got some maps (since updated by the Brew, below), it's got Benn Ray's sardonic attitude. "As a member of the current Hampden Parking Task Force, I've come to realize that our options to increase more parking in the area are severely limited. Increasing more parking via Reverse Angle Parking is perceived as dead from the start [because it might benefit Cafe Hon]. I was told by a city leader that we won't be able to get the Charm City Circulator to come through unless we had a revenue-raising parking garage to pay for it. Meanwhile, although Hampden has been promised a parking garage since O'Malley was mayor, it's also become clear that the city has no interest in building one." Benn Ray owns a business, so he's against RPP because it restricts on-street parking to those with the requisite sticker. The Sun's Colin Campbell got the meeting notes here. The Brew also picks up the controversy here. The thing with parking in this city is we don't really do comprehensive master plans. We do everything piecemeal and through short-term negotiations. That's Baltimore, baby! (Edward Ericson Jr.)


The anti-domestic violence PSA that ran during the Super Bowl on Sunday features a 911 call that, as USA Today pointed out, is a near-verbatim version of a real call that a 911 dispatcher described on Reddit about eight months ago. It's a chilling ad, and USA Today says that the NFL "donated the lucrative ad spot for the cause." But over at Deadspin, Diana Moskovitz writes the ad time came "from NFL's own advertising time—time it gets during the Super Bowl no matter what—which means this is essentially the league taking a brief reprieve from directly promoting itself." It's just one part of her investigation into what the NFL has really done about domestic violence since the Ray Rice incident. Her conclusion: "What I found was a league that has, yes, done some good, but with underwhelming final results. The NFL has spent next to nothing by the standards of a league bringing in an estimated $10 billion every year, made some advertisements with a domestic-violence organization that seems mainly to serve as an image-making front for Madison Avenue brands, and turned critics into 'consultants.' The main emphasis has seemingly been on a power grab giving the league more control over players. The NFL has changed, but mainly in ways that promote its image, allow it to work with brands, and don't really do much to help anyone on the front lines of working with domestic-violence victims." (Anna Walsh)

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